October 4, 2011

October cupcake: pumpkin cheesecake with "whipped cream" frosting


For this month's cupcake, instead of following a recipe created by a trained culinary professional -- or by someone with at least a decent amount of kitchen skills -- I decided I'd just tweak my favorite pumpkin cheesecake recipe.*

Don't ask me why I thought I could successfully transform a cheesecake into a cupcake -- must be all the Cupcake Wars and Chopped episodes I watch -- but I was extremely determined.

And so I woke up Sunday morning, threw on my black Northeastern University sweatshirt (lesson 1: wearing black while working with flour is a big mistake -- though I do love to show my school spirit in the kitchen. HUSKIES.), and went to work mixing and measuring like a mad kitchen scientist. I created four different versions of a pumpkin cheesecake cupcake, and shockingly all were edible.

Actually they were more than edible -- they all were good!

But the version I present to you today is beyond good. In fact, boyfriend Jack declared it the greatest cupcake he's ever eaten in his entire life.

And boyfriend Jack knows his cupcake shiz.

This recipe produces super moist cupcakes that taste just like pumpkin cheesecake. I mixed shortbread cookies -- used for the crust in the original recipe -- into the batter, which created a cake-like consistency -- and made me feel like the smartest woman in the world.

Oh and the frosting?

Oh. My. God.

I can't take credit for inventing it -- that honor belongs to MissyDew. I was searching for a frosting that resembled whipped cream in taste but had a thicker consistency when I came across a recipe called "the greatest frosting I ever tasted". And boy oh boy it really is the greatest frosting ever. (Apparently so good that it makes me say "boy oh boy".) Though it uses two sticks of butter and flour (say what?!), it's somehow light, fluffy, and tastes way better than any whipped cream I've ever had.

Clearly with this recipe I'm ready for Cupcake Wars -- as long as the surprise ingredient is this guy:





Pumpkin cheesecake cupcakes with "whipped cream" frosting 
Yields 18 cupcakes

Ingredients

For the cakes
  • 3 cups crushed shortbread cookies -- with or without pecans (This is the equivalent of about 30 cookies or one package of Keebler Sandies Pecan Shortbread cookies.) 
  • 1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 11 oz cream cheese (they come in 8 and 3 oz packages), softened 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix) 

For the frosting
From MissyDew
I recommend making this the day you serve it -- it gets a little hard in the fridge (though I still like it.)
  • 5 tablespoons flour 
  • 1 cup milk 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks) 
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 

Directions 
  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees and line 18 standard cupcake tins. (One and a half pans.) 
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the shortbread cookies, 1/2 cup of flour, and the butter. Set aside. 
  3. In a large bowl, beat sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, and the cream cheese with electric mixer on low speed. 
  4. Add all remaining, unused ingredients to the cream cheese mixture. Beat on medium speed, scraping bowl constantly, until smooth. 
  5. Add in the shortbread mixture and mix well with a spoon. Make sure everything is covered. (It will be super lumpy.)
  6. Pour into the cupcake pans. Don't be afraid to fill them to the top. (The pan will be heavy.) 
  7. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. The consistency is going to be between a cheesecake and a cupcake. And it's going to look a little ugly and super orange.
  8. Don't worry about it. It's delicious. Just let cool. 
  9. While the cupcakes are cooling, start making the frosting. 
  10. In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. You want it to be very thick. 
  11. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. It must be completely cool before you use it in the next step. 
  12. Stir in the vanilla. 
  13. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. You don’t want any sugar graininess left. 
  14. Add the completely cooled milk/flour/vanilla mixture and mix it A LOT -- until it resembles whipped cream. 
  15. Pipe it onto the cooled cupcakes, sprinkle with some colorful sugar (if you like!), and enjoy -- preferably surrounded by Halloween decorations! 
Cupcake and glitter skullz.
*I have NO idea where I found the original pumpkin cheesecake recipe -- it has been saved in my gmail for the past three years. I promise to share it around Thanksgiving time, though!

6 comments:

  1. Um. I'm totally making these for Thanksgiving. Is that wrong? Nom nom.

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  2. Dude. I don't even like cheesecake, but these sound deliiiicious. PS: That's a good-lookin' glitter skull you've got there!

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  3. These don't really taste like a normal cheesecake -- more like a thick, creamy pumpkin pie.

    Oh thanks! Totally inspired by your DIY! He's a little blurry because I didn't have time to take photos during daylight hours and I hate my point and shoot's flash sooo even with a tripod ... he looks like he's underwater.

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